THE small HOUSE CATALOG

Plans, Drafting & Design

first floor framing

2015 Small House Project Update

Jamie

Although it ended with clouds overhead (and boy do we need rain) we enjoyed another week of sunny skies to work under. We started the week sheathing the exterior of the first floor with plywood and used a router to open up the windows and doors. Then we move inside where we began framing and lifting interior walls, starting with our two load bearing walls and tying them into the corresponding wall plates. Next we framed up the non-load bearing walls, a lot of fun as it gave shape to the layout of the first floor - it’s very spacious! 

We also tried something new with the transition between the mudroom and the living room: we framed out a 2 x 12 dividing wall between the two rooms. On the larger half of the living room side, there will be bookshelves built into this extra deep wall, and on the mudroom side we are going to install site-built drawers to hold hats, gloves, scarves and other “mudroom stuff.”  Once trimmed out it will also give the house an extra deep entrance between the spaces.

Today, to close out the week, we started installing joists for the second floor and we expect to actually have them finished tomorrow. 

Finally, the garden we planted last week in traumatized soil has begun to sprout! A new garden is always a joyous occasion and this one's sprouting so fast.

More next week!

2015 Small House Project Update

Jamie

planting our first garden

After completing the subfloor and plywood layout over our slab and then taking a long weekend, it was time for us to get to work on the house. Monday we started framing the first walls. By Thursday they were all standing and by Friday it was time to finish air sealing the exterior wall seams with caulk and interior corners with spray foam. We spent the day yesterday hooking up a hose spigot for the soon-to-be planted garden, as well as installing wall cripples and insulating the headers. Today, we plant our garden, our latest start ever, but still very traditional, and should getting the rest of the cripples installed and perhaps tie the walls together with the top plates. Next week…on to plywood sheathing and building the interior load bearing walls.

Some notes:  We raised these walls ourselves in mostly 12 -14 foot sections, which is why we left almost all of the plywood off the exterior; it’s far easier to sheath on the ground, but with just the two of us raising the walls, we didn't want them to become impossibly heavy. We also left off building the full headers until standing to save on weight. It worked well and we were able to keep the walls in great shape in terms of being straight, plumb and level. We’ll be applying plywood vertically rather than horizontally because it is stronger this way as there are fewer seams, an important consideration in our high wind, earthquake prone area.

All in all, it was a fun and satisfying week with straightforward work and lots to show for it. Hope you’ll join us for another update next week!